Puerto Rican Band Plena Libre -- Plena Powerhouse Updates Traditional Tropical Sound
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The last date listed for Plena Libre was Saturday July 16, 2011 / 7:00pm.
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“The biggest band to play plena … Plena Libre know the tradition but aren’t afraid to draw upon stuff from outside the genre to keep it fresh” —Village Voice
“Plena Libre has given a new era to this wonderful rhythm plena” —Daily News (New York)
Founded in San Juan by bass player/composer Gary Nuñez, Plena Libre is well into a 15-year voyage that has seen the orchestra re-invent the sound of Puerto Rico’s plena and bomba traditions. During that time, Gary and his group have recorded 12 stellar albums which have garnered four Grammy nominations.
In taking their unparalleled live show to the world, the group has spread the gospel of their unique Afro-Rican sound on international jazz festival stages from Montreal to Milan and Denmark to Veracruz, as well as to Performing Arts venues like the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers, Dartmouth College’s prestigious Hopkins Center and all the way to obscure outposts in the likes of Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Recent years have seen Gary and the band blend contemporary cumbia, merengue, salsa and other Afro-Caribbean sounds into their mix to create a unique sofrito borinqueño that is pushing the plena and bomba well into the future.
With Gary securing some of the Island’s top players for his band, Plena Libre has aptly transcended their humble beginnings – evolving into a powerhouse force that is undoubtedly one of the elite heavy-weight live orchestras on the current Latin music scene.